Left - Wakeham barnacles in high fired terracotta.   Right - salt pig with barnacles, Long Island, early 1960's.

Above - salt-glazed pigs (two different ones).

Pipe vases with more stylised barnacles. Long Island mark, 1960-68.

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Above - salt-glazed pipes within a pipe. Green Island mark and mallards' feet.

Salt-glazed pipe vases, Quay Pottery (1977 - 1987). The Quay Pottery was a partnership between Guy and his son Russell (who was by then in his early twenties) following Guy's resignation from Poole Pottery.

Wood Sculptures

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Above - driftwood from Guy's studio.

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Above - semi-erotic 'wood sculptures' in terracotta

Rokko Art

Guy and Joan left Green Island in 1988 and bought a cottage near Wakeham on Portland.

Above - Guy Sydenham by Tony Morris (Tony Morris Home Studio)

'Rokko' describes the rough textured volcanic pots made by Guy in his Mermaid Studio from about 2000, inspired by the rockpools, wave-eroded stones and ledges of the Portland limestone.

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Above - Rokko 'crabby pot' textured with molten blue glass.

Top left Portland rock frogs. Top right old salt glaze kiln. Bottom right left and below heavily carved and textured Rokko vases.


Above - Pulpit Rock near Portland Bill

Mermaids, Sirens, Nymphs and a Goddess 


Above - Guy Sydenham exhibition hand-out

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Above - Wakeham satyr in terracotta.


Terracotta mermaid, Portland.

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Above - salt glazed mermaid, Green Island.


Above - Portland Sea Dancer.

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Above - salt glazed mermaid, Green Island.

Above - Portland mermaids

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Above - terracotta sirens, Portland. 

Above - Green Island mermaids.

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Above - embryonic rock sculpture in two parts in the style of Henry Moore - Portland.

Above left- Sea Princess. Right, mermaid verso, both Portland terracotta.


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Selina wall plaque, Portland.

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Above - 'flippered glamour-girl' in terracotta (Portland).

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Above - the spirits of drowned sailors.

Yakshini wall plaques, the terracotta hand-pressed into a mould.



Bears, Beads and Ballerinas - Joan Sydenham 

Above - model bears by Joan Sydenham.

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Carved and glazed beads, Joan Sydenham, 1960's.

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Joan Sydenham - ballet dancers and ice skater, 1999. This image was taken in the loft-room at the Wakeham Studio - for more images see below.

Kitchen and Utility Ware

Cups, mugs, saucers, bowls, teapots and coffee pots were popular with craft shops. While less spectacular than some of Guy's more adventurous pieces they were the mainstay of production.

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Above - beaker, Long Island early 1960's.

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Above - a selection of kitchen and utility ware, produced on Long Island and Green Island.

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Above - perfect vases in miniature. No clay was wasted.

Salt-glazed coffee pot, Quay Pottery, 1977-87. 

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Above - press moulded pendants.

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Above - salt-glazed 'mallard' tea pots. While out walking on the beach with Joan in the 1960's Guy saw a wing bone projecting from a the carcas of a duck. From that unlikely source of inspiration Guy went back to the studio and designed a handle for teapots.  

Wakeham Loft

For a number of years Guy's loft room (converted for the purpose) served as a gallery, storage and sales area. The images below were taken in 2003.

publicity photo for Guy’s second book

publicity photo for Guy’s second book

Guy Sydenham at Poole Pottery

Poole Pottery water display by Guy Sydenham and ALAN WHITE 1969-70

Poole Pottery water display by Guy Sydenham and ALAN WHITE 1969-70


Guy summarised his time at Poole in a private letter:-

" My brief after the War was to revive the old traditional majolica and Delft floral ware. I had to train a new team of throwers and when this was up and running I managed to persuade the directors to let me have a studio separate from the factory and we began...to move into more creative and individual pieces of studio pottery. The 1950's and 1960's...was a very creative and fulfilling decade; then, unfortunately, commercial pressures to standardise and economise caused a dilution of standards and quality, when freshness and spontaneity became dulled by repetition - the result was inevitable. I left"

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The adoption of the standard shapes of the Delphis Collection launched in 1963 did not preclude the production of one-off Studio ‘works of art’ and experimental pieces. Above - Poole Pottery publicity photograph adapted as a post-card.


Sometimes called the QE2 vase, this piece takes its inspiration from the cruise ships of the 1950's and 1960's. In fact, it probably pre-dates the launching of the QE2 by several years. It was described by Guy Sydenham as ‘one of the best pieces I have ever made’.


 The vase is made of floor tile clay from Carter’s Tileworks at Hamworthy. The Plimsol Line is fashioned from white clay and the main body was given a wax resist so that the sprayed-on snow white glaze ‘crawled’ as the wax burned off, giving the effect of barnacles. The impressed ‘TV screen’ mark and manuscript 'GS' initials suggest that the vase was made between 1962 and 1964. 


 Above - Atlantis era vase with applied fish scale decoration.


Above - white clay vase (13.5 inches) modelled as a stylised seed-pod.



Guy made a number of vases with applied monkey faces. These were more refined descendants of the barnacle encrusted pipes which Guy first made on Long Island; the example above was made more or less at the same time. Guy's monkey vases were inspired by Kipling's poem 'Road-song of the Bandar-Log'.

Above - 2 more monkey vases from the same era. These examples were photographed prior to firing.  


Above - Tony Morris arrived at Poole from Wales in 1963. No one had any money. Tony was paid little more than a subsistence wage. However, staff were happy to help each other out. Tony's duffle coat was missing its buttons and Guy made these replacements. Like much of Guy's work they combine functionality (note the smaller lapel button) with art. The buttons have outlived the duffle coat.  

Above - Portland cardigan-monkeys.


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Above - a slightly later vase from the Atlantis era (early to mid-1970's).

Above - Atlantis era monkey vases by Guy Sydenham and Bea Bolton


Guy gave each monkey its own face and personality.

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Above - retrospective, Portland 1999. 

Pot People

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Above - promotional leaflet for the Atlantis range, late 1960's. The vase on the bottom left is one of about a dozen vases made in the 1970's suggesting different nationalities.


Guy referred to the vase shown above as his 'Green Chinaman'.


The Green Chinaman on a bench with orange and white vases inspired by African head masks (and a caricature pot-elephant).  The white vase (here photographed in the early 1970's) appears again below (photographed in 2011).


Above - three African head vases photographed before firing.

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The vase on the left is the same vase photographed outside the Studio (above). The two vases were united for this photograph but otherwise live separate lives.

Photographed on the terrace outside the Studio c. 1972 (before firing). The left hand vase was probably glazed white. A very similar vase can just be made out in the background of a studio photo at page 129 of 'A Potter's Life'.

Above - African head vases  

Mother and baby hippo

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Throughout the late 1960's and early 1970's Guy produced some stunning individual pieces.


The large vase above (and in the group top left below) was made to commemorate the opening of the Craft Section in 1966. The vase was thrown by Guy Sydenham and decorated by Tony Morris. It was sold by Christie's as part of the Museum and Archive sale in 2004.  


Knight lights

Guy liked a pun. Shape A12 of the standardised Atlantis range (1972-1977) was a helmet lamp  with an internal bulb lighting the face of a knight. They were produced with a variety of stoneware and earthenware bodies with different carvings coloured slips and washes. 


Alongside the standard production there were some  unique individual pieces.


Lady knight light 

photo michael jeffery

photo michael jeffery

Above - Guy Sydenham - one-off self portrait knight light.


Above - described by Guy Sydenham as his 'magnum opus' this is the last of about five lamps made by Guy from black clay to a similar design in the late 1960's and stands 32 inches tall. The lamp was given as a wedding present but may not have been quite to the taste of the recipients and remained in a loft until 2001 when it was consigned to Sothebys for auction, attracting considerable press publicity.


Guy offered to purchase the lamp if it failed to reach its reserve and in anticipation of becoming its new owner drew some sketches for a complimentary lampshade in keeping with the original design concept (above). This included a port hole 'projector' on the reverse side to illuminate a Delphis or an Atlantis plaque on the wall behind.